At least 17 killed in fire at illegal firecracker storage unit in Delhi’s Bawana industrial area 

Incidentally, the firecracker fire was the third fire incident in Bawana Industrial Area Saturday. The other fires, in separate factories, didn't result in any casualties, said police.

Written by Anand Mohan J , Abhishek Angad | New Delhi | Updated: January 22, 2018 12:59:50 pm
delhi, fire, Delhi factory fire, bawana fire, bawana factory fire, bawana fire deaths, delhi, bawana firecrackers factory fire, Delhi bawana factory fire, bawan fire, delhi fire, bawana fire causalities, delhi news, Fire officials said the fire broke out in the basement around 6.20 pm and moved up to the floors above. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Seventeen people were killed, including seven women, in a fire that broke out at an illegal firecracker storage unit in Bawana Industrial Area of Delhi on Saturday evening. Around 50 workers were trapped inside the three-floor unit, and Delhi Fire Services said a majority of the deaths were caused by burns while a few died after inhaling toxic fumes. There was no clarity till late Saturday night on who owns the unit.

Fire officials said the fire broke out in the basement around 6.20 pm and moved up to the floors above. Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg said, “We received a call around 6.30 pm. The fire was not very big and we were able to douse it easily. We took out 17 bodies. Some people had already escaped. It was a firecracker storage factory, where they would redistribute big firecracker packets into smaller ones.”

Follow | Delhi’s Bawana Industrial Area Fire Live Updates  

Three bodies were reportedly found on the ground floor, and one in the basement. The others were found on the upper floors, most of them charred. “On the first floor, we found two women charred and in a tight embrace,” said a firefighter. One of those trapped inside got injured after he tried to escape the fire by jumping from the top floor and broke his legs.

A worker shows yellow marks on her hands, that she says he got from handling gunpowder (Express Photo/Amit Mehra)

The firemen said they had to be careful that the firecrackers didn’t go off while they were trying to douse the flames. Fifteen fire tenders were pressed into service. PCR vans from the local police station and 13 Cats ambulances rushed those injured to local hospitals. Family members of victims, who rushed to the spot, ran around desperately to find out where they had been taken. Baby, 35, stood outside the factory at 10.30 pm, wailing. “Two days ago, my sister Devi had started working at this factory. People told me she was inside. I don’t know if she is dead or alive,” she said.

IN PICTURES | Massive fire rips through two-storeyed factory in Delhi, kills 17  

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal meets relatives of kin who lost their lives in the fire at Bawana factory in New Delhi (Express Photo/Praveen Khanna)

With the local district magistrate claiming it was an illegal factory with no permits, police have lodged an FIR. North MCD Mayor Preety Aggarwal said she will “make a committe to investigate the matter”. Bawana MLA Ram Chandra said they suspected “police connivance”. “It appears the factory was operating without permission and necessary clearances, with the help of police. But an investigation is required.”

Incidentally, the firecracker fire was the third fire incident in Bawana Industrial Area Saturday. The other fires, in separate factories, didn’t result in any casualties, said police.

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